For twenty years Sr Gemma, a Marist Sister, worked as a pastoral associate at St Brigid’s Millers Point. This church is part of the inner city parish of St Patrick’s Church Hill in Sydney. Sister’s ministry was varied and challenging. Assited by the St Brigid’s committee she organized liturgies, taught religion in governmnet schools and prepared these children for the sacraments. The aged and infirm found a compassionate and supportive friend in Gemma. When they were in hospital she visited them, even when this meant travelling to other areas of Sydney, and she helped them to find nursing home care when they were no longer able to stay in their own home. Gemma’s sense of justice found her liaising with government and voluntary organisations to find accomodation for the needy.
It was with much gratitude, and also a sense of sadness, that the St Brigid’s community farewelled Gemma at the Palm Sunday Mass recently. In acknowledging the work that Gemma has done in their midst over the last twenty years particular mention was made of her “very effective and inspiring commitment”. Parish priest, Fr Neveille Byrne, thanked Gemma for always being “real”.